Germantown Newspapers Inc.


Incorporating the Germantown Chronicle and The Northwest Independent

6661 Germantown Ave • Philadelphia, PA 19119 • 215-438-4000 • germantownnewspapers.com

The only paper in Northwest Philadelphia delivered door-to-door to over 35,000 households. 

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October 16 Independent Voice.pdf

October 2, 2014, Independent Voice.pdf

Sept. 18 Independent Voice.pdf   Sept. 4, 2014 Independent Voice.pdf August 21 Independent Voice.pdfAug. 8, 2014 Independent Voice.pdf

July 24 Independent Voice.pdf  July 10 Independent Voice.pdf   June 19 Independent Voice.pdf    June 5 Independent Voice.pdf

Next Issue: November 6, 2014

 

Previously Featured Stories




Yard Sale/Bazaar


Family Yard Sale

Sat., 10/4 & Sun 10/5

7:30 am to 4 pm

214-216 East Hortter Street, Philadelphia

Household goods, wine glasses, clothes, handbags, jewelry, furniture,

bric-a-brac...Baked Goods!

_________________________________


BAZAAR, Sat. Oct. 4, 10 - 3

Handmade gifts and crafts , gently-worn jewelry, home-baked treats.  At 8514 Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill (former home of The Children’s Place store). To benefit Chestnut Hill Center for Enrichment programs for older adults.

 

Post Your Comments and Updates There. Check for Events and Happenings, too.

 

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October 30


Inquirer Endorses Young Republican for Fattah's House Seat

Independent Voice Agrees


On October 29, 2014, the Philadelphia Inquirer endorsed young Republican Armond James to replace Chaka Fattah in the Second Congressional District. James and the citizens of that district deserve all the support voters can mount for this long overdue change.


The Independent Voice has made no secret of its standing opposition to the policies and practices that it believed Chaka Fattah was part of going back several years. For the record, this editor ran against Chaka Fattah as a registered Independent in the 2012 election.


We have accused Fattah as a participant in funding nonprofits and other entities with federal funds as appropriations chair over the years that were skimming large quantities of public money and operating far outside of compliance. Recent investigations and disclosures of in process investigations has proven that to be true and seven figure amounts deliberately stolen from the public for personal and political purposes in one transaction alone is only the tip of the iceberg in the views of this newspaper.


We all should add to that the fact that Fattah serves in the district that credible reports have verified has the largest percentage of concentrated deep poverty in the nation. We have seen little or no serious effort toward the kind of remedial job creation and neighborhood rebuilding it will take to reverse this downward spiral. Instead Mr. Fattah has been focusing on bringing disproportionally too much in the way of federal dollars to those already well-funded enterprises where he has too many close associations with powerful insiders, in our view.


Another term for Chaka Fattah would be an insult to the country, this city, and, most of all, the residents of the Second Congressional District.


Jim Foster

Editor



October 16

See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil

An election is on the horizon in 19 days.  You would not know much about it from the party in power, the opposition party, activist groups or the media.  Apparently no one wants to generate any fanfare about politics or an election in Philadelphia, for no one wants to admit that we don’t have them here.

Even the so-called good government activists are largely silent, for they know the truth is that all of the outcomes are pre-scripted and arranged so well that no elected office has been held in this city by anyone who was a surprise victor in an election for at least 25 years.

Read more ...


Leadership

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

That quote from George Santayana has been one of my guiding principles since I first heard it back in high school.  Sadly, that perspective has been all but wiped out of our educational and political systems in recent years, and if there was ever a moment when some serious reflection on even the recent past is necessary, it is now.

The tragedies on the national and local stage clearly reflect what happens when one party agendas are not modulated by an activist free press and strident opposition parties that make the best use of the free and participatory democratic republic that allowed this country to create the first and only significant majority middle class population not controlled by a narrow group of zealots suppressing personal freedoms.

Read more ...


PICA Board Elects Officers But Continues Avoiding Pensions


The PICA Board that is effect the state-authorized overseer of Philadelphia’s finances met on October 14 to primarily discuss revisions in the city’s five year plan brought about by settlements in union contracts whose protracted negotiations have plagued the city for more than six years, but were a cash cow for Ballard Spahr, the law firm representing the city.  That firm garners over $700 an hour to “just be there” much of the time.

Read more ...


October 2

What Are We Doing for the People of the Middle East?

Historians recognize that events do not develop out of a vacuum.  In today’s Middle East, for example, they are the birth children of the west’s  narrow-minded foreign policy which has manipulated that region for it’s own “national interests for a long, long time.

Read more ...


Area Democrats Should Purge Their Party

If there ever has been a moment in the last `100 years when Philadelphia area Democrats should be asking themselves what they should do about a party challenged all the way from the administration, through congress, the state and particularly the city government, now is that time.

The last time that party was slapped down so hard that they barely influenced outcomes of elections at any level for an extended period was the end result of the election of 1914, when a left wing ideologue in Woodrow Wilson promised one kind of government but delivered a series of social and economic mandates and tragedies that so poisoned the atmosphere that for all practical purposes they were out office almost everywhere for 20 years.

Read more ...


Railroaded by his own?

I doubt there has ever been a U.S. Congressman more colorful and irreverent than James Traficant of Youngstown, Ohio.

News reports this past week informed us that he has been “beamed up” (one of his most-used personal phrases) after what has been characterized as a heart attack and tractor accident on his farm.

First elected to congress in 1984 in a district that many said was the most devastated industrial community in the nation after the 1970s, Youngstown Ohio, his prior career as county sheriff brought him notoriety and celebrity among some very desperate citizens in a bi-racial town that was reportedly under gangster control for many years.

Read more ...


The Battle of Two Toms

by Victoria A. Brownworth

The gubernatorial race is a month away and 24 percent of Pennsylvanians have no idea who they are voting for.

As the kids say, WHUT?!

I subscribe to a few Republican and right-wing newsletters because I like to know what the other side is thinking. I also am on quite a few Progressive and Democratic political lists so my email box has been flooded in the past few days with increasingly more hysterical emails related to the mid-term elections in November.

Read more ...


We’ve Heard Enough Already

Editor:

When will we hear the name Mumia Abu Jamal for the last time? Now we learn that he will be the “remote” commencement speaker for a small and obscure New England college where students rarely visit the campus; a school that reportedly  offers degrees without curriculum or grades.

Read more ...



September 18

A Congressman and a City Without a Conscience

Where is the outrage?   We have verified reporting that the most powerful U.S. congressman in Pennsylvania, Chaka Fattah of the 2nd District was part of a conspiracy to use his office as appropriations chairman to launder money through a nonprofit run by the husband of a former staffer and use the money to fund a failed mayoral campaign and there is virtually no outrage.   Not one major elected official inside or outside the party has shown us a “Casablanca Moment” and at least express some shock that a serving congressman has been named by his own chief of staff in guilty plea as one of the co-conspirators.  Maybe our State Attorney General sees this as another investigation without evidence to convict.  I would not bet on that.

Read more ...


School System Becomes Election Tool – Again

If you follow the news you will be told that the November governor’s race is going to rise and fall on the past funding history of the Philadelphia School System. Do you really think that is the only thing on the mind of the folks in Beaver County? The real story is that the state itself has serious financial problems everywhere and it seems that the local propaganda that Governor Corbett cut state funds to Philadelphia schools is bogus.  What he apparently did is not tell the people that the last governor used money that was supposed to jump start economic development to temporarily fund Philadelphia Schools. That would be the “Stimulus Money” that in this case did not stimulate, but exacerbate an ongoing problem that has not been dealt with honestly in years.

Read more ...


Winners and Losers as Politicians Play with Public Money

The recently disclosed Chaka Fattah scandal brings to light a political tactic of direct thievery from the public treasury that I have been critical of for years. Many thought my claims were imaginary or exaggerated, but we learn that the Congressman’s long term operative and Chief of Staff of an election campaign pled guilty to helping organize the theft of $1 million through a nonprofit run by a local Mt. Airy executive whose wife was a Fattah staffer. On top of that a very high level individual in the Democratic Party and another campaign guru arranged to launder the money twice to try and hide it, but using what appeared as a nonprofit as the conduit is how those with authority move your money to their purposes and most of the time no one has a clue.

Read more ...



The NFL’s Violence Problem is Our Problem

by Victoria A. Brownworth

A stranger accosts you in a hotel elevator. You try to fight him off, but he punches you, knocking you unconscious. The elevator opens and he drags you out onto the floor of the hotel, dropping you face-first on the floor. He kicks you and tells you to get up, but you are still unconscious and don’t move.

A stranger breaks into your apartment while you are taking a bath. He hits you hard, then drags you out of the bathtub by your hair, punching and slapping you while he does so. He throws you onto a bed where he has weapons laid out and tells you he’s going to kill you.

Read more ...


September 5

A Tree Falls in Germantown


One of the by-products of printing a free circulated community newspaper is that you are bound to get the complaints from citizens that for one reason or another are not dealt with through city services.  


Those stories can often be long tales of woe with less than positive endings. 


Recently we had the occasion to follow one to its conclusion, but the story is worth telling as an example of municipal madness to the 10th power.


Read more.


Non-Profits Hide Under the Radar

This article first appeared in 2007 as a commentary in a local newspaper.


Overshadowed by debates on judicial appointments and other partisan bickering, both the Senate and House have opened investigations that may finally expose a massive legal tax loophole for what it has become and not what it purports to be.  Many politicians at all levels have been aware for years that registered non-profits often shelter massive redistributions of grant money and at the same time do little if anything to follow those dollars and verify if they justify tax exempt status and do the public good their proposals promised.

Read more ...


Feds Finger Fattah

Full disclosure:  I ran for the Congressional seat held by Chaka Fattah for the last 20 years in the 2012 election.  On the ballot as an Independent, I ran to try and disclose to the public some of the shortcomings of how this machine candidate had been running the 2nd Congressional District and shortchanging those citizens most in need, but delivering the financial goods to insiders in massive doses.

Jim Foster

Publisher

Characterized by some as “the safest seat in the U.S. Congress” and when the Democrats were in the majority, the House Appropriations Chair, approving and transferring public money was his forte, with golfing a close second, according to sources.

Read more ...



A Tale of Two Phillys

by Victoria A. Brownworth

The school year is scheduled to start next week in Philadelphia.

Scheduled.

The suburban districts and local parochial and private schools are all chugging along. But the Philadelphia School District is, as ever, in flux.

The problem with the schools – massive, ongoing – is one I have been writing about for years. Too many. Philadelphia’s school crisis is rolled up into the problem of Philadelphia’s corruption crisis and Philadelphia’s poverty crisis and neither of those crises get much play in the local news media unless the national media steps in as ABC News did last year, profiling the extreme problems at Strawberry Mansion High School. Those were a combination of poverty, violence and hopelessness. But since those reports by Diane Sawyer, not much has been said outside of this column about Philly’s grinding poverty and the hopelessness, crime and misery it engenders.

Read more ...



August 25

The Independent Voice on the Air at WURD 900 AM

August 24, 2014

Nonprofit Scam Bails Out Friends of Dwight Evans


While there are enough examples of how high level elected politicians have used the funding of nonprofits with public money to fill volumes, this one particular story from the not too distant past should raise not only citizen’s anger, but initiate city, state and federal investigations.

Read more ...


August 21

How Power Politics, Public Money and Poverty Profiteers Are Destroying Cities

“Jack Kitchen, where are you?”

The front page of the Local section of the Sunday Inquirer of August 17, 2014, tells how investigations into one of the largest and most outrageous examples of power politics, insider deals and the reckless distribution of public money may have moved up a notch - - to the FBI.

Read more ...


Another Former Germantown Settlement Property Falls Into Decay

This newspaper has been the recipient of frequent calls regarding the deterioration of former Germantown Settlement properties throughout Germantown and Mt. Airy. Germantown Settlement was a politically controlled 27 corporation monopoly that virtually ran all of Germantown for nearly 25 years only to collapse into bankruptcy a few years ago with what remained of its assets transferred to other operating companies; sometimes under questionable circumstances.

Read more ...


Latino Immigrant Group Asks, “Is The Philadelphia Daily News Anti-Latino?”

After months of attacks by Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky, the Executive Director of Latino immigrant rights organization Juntos, Erika Almiron, responded to the hateful rhetoric.

The same day the Daily News printed Mr. Bykofsky’s column entitled “Am I Anti-Latino?” where he names and attacks Juntos, the office was interrupted and shaken by threatening phone calls received from people who felt emboldened by Mr. Bykofsky’s position and chose to let staff in Juntosknow that they and the community as a whole are both disposable and to be disposed of. 

Read more ...


How Politicians Use Non-Profits

Non-profits properly structured and run according to state and federal regulations can provide vital services and can be the incentive for individuals and groups to provide services that the marketplace does not offer.  Of course that was the intent when tax exemptions for those organizations were made available by legislation. 

At the same time, it did not take long for the political charlatans to find them to be an ideal mask for ways of narrowing opportunity and funding those who kept them in office.  The politician and the non-profit have become very good friends.

Read more ...


Non-Profits As Tools for Crony Capitalism

Another way some type non-profits can be handy tools for “persuading” politicians to write laws or direct funding is when the crony capitalists who fund the elected officials want a contract or legislation decided in their favor.

Read more ...


Sandalwood Yoga Brightens 5300 Block of G’town Avenue

by Scott Phillips

Staff Reporter


Tracy McNeil had a challenge on her hands.

She had a dream to bring yoga, a traditionally white, middle class activity, to Germantown.

But standing in her way was a long project of a historic restoration.

Read more ...


August 11

PHILADELPHIA GROWS THROUGH 20TH CENTURY AND THEN COMMITS SUICIDE

The story of Philadelphia and its place in the structure of these United States is sadly a tragedy in several acts.  From playing the most instrumental role as the center of a national government in unifying the colonial states, to the point of development for much of what became the spark of the industrial revolution, it somehow survived some of the worst challenges of runaway growth, disease, corporate and political power plays to become a destination city for many who wanted permanent employment and decent living conditions all the way from the founding to the end of the 1960s.

Read more ...

 

Noteworthy Reads


To VisitPhilly: Recognize Germantown as a Neighborhood

If you go to this site..... http://www.visitphilly.com/philadelphia-neighborhoods/ You will see that Germantown is NOT an option as a neighborhood in Philadelphia. Yet, when you click on Mt. Airy here.... http://www.visitphilly.com/philadelphia-neighborhoods/mt-airy/view-all/ You'll see that most of the attractions they cite are actually in Germantown....Grumblethorpe, Awbury Arboretum, the Johnson House, Maxwell Mansion, Wyck, Cliveden..... That's a travesty!!! Please take a moment and let the visitphilly people (which used to be called the Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Cultural something and is THE official tourism site for Philadelphia) know that Germantown needs to be recognized as the steward of all these sites.... Sign our petition. That's why I signed a petition to Visitphilly.com. Will you sign this petition?

Go to www.moveon.org/ Thanks!

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